WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $10 million in funding to three projects developing novel manufacturing technologies for superconducting tapes. Enabling widely available low-cost, high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tapes could have major implications for the United States’ transition to a net-zero energy future. This funding supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda to reach a clean energy future by bolstering American-made manufacturing, improving grid infrastructure, and strengthening domestic supply chains.
“If we can improve superconductors and manufacture them here in the United States, we can ultimately speed up the energy transition through enabling cost savings, faster production, and improved capability,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “The teams announced today will all pursue ARPA-E’s mission to lower emissions, bolster national security, increase energy independence, and improve energy efficiency through their critical research.”
The following three projects are set to receive funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Novel Superconducting Technologies for Conductors Exploratory Topic:
- High Temperature Superconductors, Inc. (HTSI) (Santa Barbara, California) will increase the production speed and reduce the cost of HTS tape to support the development of transformational energy technologies like fusion power reactors, power transmission, and electric aircraft. HTSI will develop new tools that expand the area on the metal tapes where the superconducting layers are deposited, resulting in production speeds five to ten times higher than present-day levels while also improving the quality and consistency of the materials. (Award amount: $5,000,000)
- MetOx Technologies (Houston, Texas) will dramatically lower HTS manufacturing costs by improving equipment throughput, material efficiency, and tape performance. These improvements will ensure that there is a large supply of domestic low-cost HTS tapes and help the U.S. become the global leader in HTS manufacturing. (Award amount: $3,000,000)
- University of Houston (Houston, Texas) will scale up manufacturing of HTS tape to overcome barriers of implementing HTS in clean energy applications, including low-loss transmission cables, compact nuclear fusion reactors, high-power wind turbine generators, and highly efficient motors and generators. The proposed project will advance metal organic chemical vapor deposition process to produce HTS tapes with more than three times the critical current per unit width of today’s industry tapes at a higher annual production rate than current industry capability. (Award amount: $2,000,000)
More information and complete project descriptions for the teams announced today can be found on the ARPA-E website.